FA-IQ reached out to advisors to ask: What changes have you implemented in the way you run your practice because of the Covid-19 pandemic? Do you expect those changes to stick even after the pandemic is over?

Bobby Jones, managing director and private wealth advisor at Americana Partners. Houston-based Jones has been in the industry for 14 years and has $704 million in client assets.

“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on our client’s lives, including their health, travel, schooling, businesses, and investment process. This impact has also affected the way we, as financial advisors, interact with our clients. We were in constant communication during the pandemic, picking up the phone multiple times per week, emailing and participating in Zoom calls. We now believe this constant communication is the norm and not going away. This has deepened our relationship with several clients, thus giving us an even better understanding of their ongoing financial needs and allowing us to add even more value to the relationship.

Bobby Jones
Additionally, during the pandemic we were advising our clients to adhere to their investment plans and recommended taking the emotion out of investing. We put in place systematic deployment plans and spoke with them frequently to ensure we were removing fear from the investment decision-making process, which allowed us to take advantage of the market selloff and the following rebound. We also noted the importance of manager selection during this time. Many clients had been focused on fee reduction and indexing, which plays an important part in portfolios, but we also witnessed several of our strategies meaningfully outperform during this period of volatility. We believe that clients have benefited from active management over the past couple of years as correlations have bifurcated.

Finally, we found major market dislocations often present the best investment opportunities, and we’ve turned to private equity and credit managers to take advantage of these dislocations. For example, we continue to allocate capital to credit managers that have flexible mandates where they can invest in performing, stressed, and distressed loans. Another area of focus has been private equity firms that increase enterprise value by improving the operations of their underlying portfolios. Both strategies give the general partners a margin of safety as they don’t have to rely on benign markets or multiple expansion to generate returns. We believe that private market opportunities will play a critical role in our clients’ portfolios and offer compelling risk-adjusted returns for our clients on a move-forward basis.”

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